This is from some photos I took last year. Almost a year ago, as the field of bright yellow rapeseed testifies. Here a view of the Leeds to Liverpool canal and one of its many bridges in the village of Haskayne on the Lancashire Plain. Makes me itchy to get out on the bike and start painting in the spring sunshine.
Another canal painting. I liked the dark form of the narrowboat melding into the bridge in shadow. There was also a lot of foliage and I tried applying paint to sprayed water to get lost and found edges. It took a few goes to build up the volume. Because of all the green I introduced some warms to break the monotony, though not too much as the subdued colour range pulls out the central figure and hopefully focusses the eye on the detail.
I’m sure this bridge has a name, but it isnt marked on any map as it is now just part of a barely used footpath crossing the Leeds to Liverpool Canal at Lydiate, north Liverpool. When I’ve walked the path I recall a sign directing you to the named bridge.
I was taken by the layers of light and shade and the shadows on the bridge as I turned to look at it whilst walking along the edge of a field alongside the canal. I painted this a while ago, and it got put into the pile only to be rediscovered a few days ago when I was having a sort out for an exhibition.
One to stir up the Troll. Its snide, anonymous comments continue – well I presume that they do, as for the last few weeks I have found a way of discarding without viewing their content. I assume this will continue as canal scenes seem to trigger a bigger tirade of ire than most other topics.
Perhaps this tactic may result in discarding a comment from someone who has a serious point to make, but in my eyes the risk is worth it.
So here is a calming winter scene by the Leeds to Liverpool Canal – well it calms me.
The Saracen’s Head is the name of the pub and restaurant you can just see on the right. Using a zoom lens I was able to stand on a bend and get a view of the canal as if you were approaching in a narrow boat.
The pub is quite a good place to eat and, according to my mate, the fishing isnt too bad around here also, as he is often to be seen on the other side of the bridge that you can see up ahead, sitting with his rod as he passes the hours.
Our walk along the Leeds Liverpool canal the other day took us past the swing bridge near the small town of Burscough. I love the line of old cottages in the left background, and have painted them in the past from the other side. I wondered whether the long lead in of the tow path, delineated by the shadows from the bright winter sun was worth a go, particularly as I wanted a long format painting to test on my new website that I am getting built.
And if nothing else, the sight of a canal painting always ignites the bigoted troll – and it can get cold hiding under a stone at this time of year.
These sketches of the Leeds Liverpool Canal were done a few days ago as the weather has now taken a turn for the worse, or returned to the norm, depending on your level of pessimism.
The sketches are of each side of the bridge, by the Ship Inn at Haskayne, although on the first one the bridge is just out of view on the left. It was when I was well into this second sketch that I realised something was missing. Here is a painting of the same site which I sold a few years ago.
Admittedly the second one was painted in the evening light whilst my top sketch is done in the morning, but I must say that the willow and the ivy on the bridge do add some character and interest to the image, not quite balanced by the reeds now growing on the canal bank.
Another canal scene, but this one is the Lancaster Canal as we came back from Glasson Dock. Again I loved the gloomy atmosphere dissolving the distant land and a shot of light in from the right, illuminating surfaces and edges. All done in just three colours: Ultra Marine blue, Cadmium red and yellow – all on the warm side.
Well, the sun continues to shine, so I’ve been out on my bike again. This is an old track I used to ride down a lot on my way to and from work. I loved the variation of the trees and the line of reeds. After painting this I went back to where I painted Down Holland Farm (earlier post) and found my metal pallet in amongst the stinging nettles.
This one is an old cobbled canal bridge, looking into the sun. I had to stand in the middle of it to paint in order to see the buildings and light on the hedgerow. It is a bridge from an old farm track over the canal to nowhere (I cant understand why it was built) yet as I worked 3 dogwalkers came past, then a pony and trap and finally to people riding horses. Each time I had to move my gear to let them past. It’s tough out on the road, or bridge in this case. Though I might develop this further as I liked the scene and I haven’t done justice to the main tree.
Out in the early morning: this was a bit of a problem, as although the sun was shining, the air temperature was around 2oC. So the washes didn’t try very fast so I did a lot of pacing around whilst the painting sat drying on the grass in the sun. Still it’s great to get out and as I returned home I saw a couple of sites well worth painting on another visit. Always good having somewhere to go rather than wasting time looking around for a subject.